But park owners Chip and Kim Smith plan to keep the fun family activities and themed weekends going through mid-October at the 270-site park, which is located at 22128 Highway 38 North in Monticello.
“We do expect to be busier this fall, but we still have plenty of campsites and cabin accommodations available through mid-October,” Chip Smith said.
Upcoming activities include a grandparents weekend on Sept. 9 – 11 with crafts, gameshow games, a beanbag tournament and a free pancake breakfast for grandparents.
Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 7 – 10, will be hibernation time for the bears. Activities include a pajama parade as well as milk and cookies and the last round of s’mores for the season with Yogi Bear and Cindy Bear. On Monday, Oct. 10, park guests will have a soup and chili cook off.
“Last year, we had 13 soups and 13 chilies,” Smith said. “Everybody votes for their favorite soups and chilies and the winners receive prizes. They also share recipes.”
The Smiths said year-to-date business levels have been up by about 30 percent at their campground compared to last year. They attribute the increase to the expansion of organized family activities and to their decision to join the Jellystone Park network.
“We really wanted to strengthen our brand recognition as far as being a family friendly park,” Chip Smith said, adding, “The whole atmosphere behind Yogi Bear is family fun, and that’s what we provide. Parents know their kids are going to be entertained and that it’s a fun, safe environment.”
The Smiths have always offered organized family activities, but they have significantly expanded their activity schedule now that their park is part of the Jellystone network.
The Smiths have also added new amenities, including a jumping pillow, shuffleboard courts and a Game Show Mania game. The park, which is located next to the Maquoketa River, also features a heated swimming pool and a fishing lake with pedal boat rentals as well as a river tubing trail, a large sand beach, a playground and horseshoe pits. It also has two cabins and one camper rental. For more information, visit www.monticellojellystone.com.